I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT POETRY RIGHT NOW
i don’t want to talk about poetry right now. i want to rest
in the heaven of your skinless night sky and kiss your
clouds until they rain all over my body. i want to leave
my body and admire what you do to it from afar. i want to
destroy all borders, set fire to every prison, rescue the history
of my blood from the dream of namelessness.
and who were i in that fog? were i the floodlights above
the prairie? were i the women holding our world together?
were i the dying logic of upheaval? were i the mountain
sloping downward ahead of you? i never knew
who i could be til i died for the thousandth time.
til i erased every word i wrote and killed the pen.
til the sun parted the sea in front of my hopeless cause.
til god came down for one last fuck and run.
in the warm of my madness i found my voice stolen
from my throat and replaced with a performance.
i fell in love with that colonized sound
and ate pills in front of the silent television.
there was wind on the hill so i thought i was fine.
there was city lights laughing at the way i tried
to bring them to life in verse.
it’s been years and years and years and years and years
and i don’t want to talk about poetry anymore.
i want to glide back into the sound of bodies
imagining bodies outside themselves.
the threat was always implicit.
the man said our hands were alike
and that was why i should be
the same as him—i shuddered in place
beneath the skylight and reached
up to no avail. there were pieces
of me that made sense
as long as they remained in pieces.
there were days i blackened
my eyes and drew blood
on my fingers
just to highlight the difference
between a name and a body
or a body and a soul.
the man saw this and laughed
a nervous laughter.
by the time he finished killing
me i had become something
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is a trans woman poet living in California. She has been featured in The Offing, PEN America, The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere; in addition, she was awarded a Pushcart Prize for her poem I DREAM OF HORSES EATING COPS. Her full-length collection THERE SHOULD BE FLOWERS was recently published by Civil Coping Mechanisms.
Featured Image © Natasha Marin. 12 (Video Still): I engaged in a 1 year social media experiment designed to stimulate infatuation between artists living thousands of miles apart. These are stills from videos from this project (www.12intrigues.com).